“Are you serious?” AJ shook his head. “I’ve got to jump off this thing—over a three-hundred-foot cliff—with you pushing me?”
“Yeah,” Jack said nonchalantly. “It’s gonna be great.”
AJ looked at Eagle. “Am I the only one here who thinks this is crazy?
What if I get stuck out there? What if the rope comes loose?”
“That won’t happen and you know it.” Eagle paused. “I think.” He smiled. “No, seriously. Kay set it up. It’s not gonna break. You may dangle out there for a minute or two, but they’ll get you at some point,” Eagle joked. “Have some faith. It’ll be fun!”
AJ hung his head. “Urghh!” he grumbled. He pulled on his harness and tested the buckles about five times to make sure it was secure.
The rope was tied to a harness at his waist. He positioned himself ten paces back from the edge of the cliff and clutched the rope with both hands. “Jack, you ready?”
“I’m ready. Are you?” Jack tugged AJ’s harness as a final safety check.
AJ took a deep breath and gave a thumb’s-up sign.
“Let’s do it.” Jack returned his signal. “Kay. He’s coming across,” Jack shouted. He turned to give AJ some last-minute advice. “Okay, just run as fast as you can and jump straight off.”
“I can’t believe I’m doing this.” AJ shook his head. “Eagle, get a picture. No one else is going to believe it either.”
“Will do.” Eagle reached for his phone.
“On three,” Jack called. “Ready? One…Two...Three!”
AJ took one last breath, put his head down and darted toward the edge of the cliff. “Ahhhhh,” he screamed as he ran. Just before he reached the edge, Jack pushed him hard into the open air. He soared like a circling hawk, around the rock spires and directly into the view of Mount Fuego. To his surprise, his eyes were open. His hands cramped from clutching the rope and his heart pounded.
Time seemed to stand still as he swung closer to Kay on the other side. He twisted on the line and tried to right himself as he approached. He spread his legs and bent his knees to absorb the shock of landing. As his legs struck the ledge, he felt a hard tug on his harness. Kay had grabbed him and pulled him quickly next to her. Dazed, he sank down on his knees. He let out a long breath.
Kay knelt beside him. “You okay?”
AJ’s face was white. His heart was still pounding, and he collected his thoughts in silence. His eyes met hers. “That was incredible!” he exclaimed. “Absolutely amazing! I can’t believe I just jumped off a cliff.” AJ looked out over the expansive valley. He sat down while Kay unhooked him. He was shaking slightly, still feeling the effects of the adrenaline rush. “I think I’m ready for Devil’s Drop.”
Kay smiled. “Absolutely, AJ.” She turned to preparing the rope swing for Eagle. “Absolutely.”